AN author who led a colourful life which included being a spy before he moved to live in Cork has died.
Martin Bengtsson died last week, after living for several years on the Cork-Tipperary border in Araglin, near Kilworth. He was in his late 80s.
His death notice described him as a "gifted writer, actor, artist, and a true lover of all animals."
It added: "He will be sadly missed by all who knew and understood him."
The Swedish-born man had written a number of books about his colourful life, which also included stints as an art forger and smuggler, and a former diver. Among his books were Codename Rizla and If You're Not in Bed By 10 Come Home.
Codename Rizla, published in 2017, detailed that he had started out as a bank clerk before escaping that and becoming involved in cigarette smuggling for the Mafia. It also chronicled his time as a bodyguard for a Saudi prince, gunrunning for African rebels, and being part of a CIA high squad and an MI5 spy.
In July 2018, he had an idea to help rescue the 12 boys and their football coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand and contacted the Thai embassy in relation to it.
At the time, he told: "I have lived a very varied life. I have been in very tricky situations over the years — so I really do know what I am talking about. I am 87 now and beyond the actual diving myself but I have the knowledge to help these boys.” His memoirs included stories of being a stuntman in Western films, as well as being a spy and an art forger.
A private cremation took place.